Unmissable summer party themes and ideas for 2021

Throw an unforgettable summer party this year by embracing one of these fun summer party themes

Updated on 24 May 2021 • Written By Caroline Hendry

Unmissable summer party themes and ideas for 2021

If ever there was a time to throw a summer party, the summer of 2021 would be it. After so many months of gatherings being limited in numbers, socially distanced or even virtual, this summer will be a time to celebrate and re-group. Whether you are looking to throw a summer corporate event, or a summer party with friends and family to make up for all those missed celebrations, start exploring some of our best summer party themes and ideas.

The British weather means you can’t guarantee your summer party will be filled with sunshine, but with so many great party venues and spaces available to hire, you will most definitely be able to find somewhere perfect to celebrate no matter how the weather turns out. When it comes to planning your summer party theme, take some time to think about the style of event you would like. Do you want a formal affair with an elegant setting and a sit-down dinner? Or would you prefer it to really feel like a party, with drinks flowing and plenty of dancing? This may influence the style of venue you choose and the theme that you pick. It’s also important to have an idea of the party style you want before you choose your venue, this way you can ensure that you are picking a location that will work with your ideas. If you are struggling to decide on your summer party theme then take a look at some of our most unmissable themes and ideas.


Throw a beach party

It’s looking like holidays overseas are a little way off yet so why not give your guests a taste of life by the sea with the ultimate beach party? When choosing a venue for your summer party, you don’t need to feel tied to coastal destinations, plenty of venues can offer the feel of the seaside within their grounds. London City Beach - pictured above - is a seasonal venue that is open to hosting both exclusive parties and shared parties for smaller gatherings. This Southbank destination can host events from 100 guests to 1,200 and along with a DJ and a dance floor, you can also make the most of fun beach themed activities that can double up as the perfect team building events.

When it comes to food and decor for your beach themed summer party, you can have so much fun. If you want to give your party some tropical vibes then decorate with palm trees, pineapples and the obligatory inflatable flamingos. Team this tropical decor with fruit-filled cocktails and barbecue street food for the perfect tropical experience. If you would prefer to embrace some British seaside style, go for a pastel colour palette with striped deckchairs, retro fish and chip vans or a vintage ice-cream parlour experience.

Beach party ideas

  • Set up a volleyball game
  • Serve fish & chips in newspaper cones
  • Hire an ice-cream van
  • Host a sandcastle building competition
  • Gift your guests fun sunglasses as party favours

Host a boat party

Give your summer party a nautical feel by theming your celebrations around a boat party. You will find plenty of boats available to hire for a party and can search for something to suit your style. Seafood canapes and cocktails would make the perfect welcome for your guests and the novelty of having a party on a boat will set a fun vibe for your celebration. The Yacht London would make the perfect setting with its river location and impressive views of the City. Permanently moored at Temple Pier, this 1927 steam vessel can accommodate up to 250 guests and has a licence until 3am - perfect if you are looking to host a party that will last long into the night.

Boat party ideas:

  • Invite guests with a yacht ‘boarding pass’
  • Choose a seafood menu
  • Create mini-teams for team building games, each with its own ‘captain’
  • Serve nautical-inspired cocktails

Have a movie night

Transport your team to another world with a movie-night theme. You could choose to embrace this theme in a number of different ways. Find a venue that can hold an outdoor cinema screening for the ultimate drive in cinema experience followed with a party. Movie snacks and milkshakes will make the experience feel even more authentic and with the film as a talking point, it could be a great way to kick-start some team-building.

Alternatively, if you are looking for a summer party with a little more structure then take your movie-themed summer party in a different direction and book your team on the Warner Bros Studio Tour of the making of Harry Potter. With so many spaces to choose from, it is a venue that can work for groups large or small. Begin the event with a full tour of the set that brought all eight Harry Potter films to life. If it’s team-building you are looking for then broomstick-flying, wand-duelling and spell-casting are all tasks that will get everyone involved.

Movie night ideas:

  • Invite guests with cinema-ticket style invitations
  • Serve popcorn and other movie-inspired snacks
  • Name tables after iconic film stars
  • Host a movie quiz

Celebrate with a 'picnic in the park'

What could feel more like summer than a picnic in the park? This wouldn’t be your average picnic, think a lush green setting with gourmet picnic hampers or an elegant take on picnic-inspired canapes teamed with a glass of cold Champagne. If you are hoping to keep your summer party outdoors then a picnic theme will fit this perfectly.

Kensington Palace is a stunning venue with plenty of outdoor space and the ability to create an event that is bespoke to your needs. Their gorgeous gardens would be the picture-perfect setting for your summer party and a bespoke list of suppliers can help you to plan your picnic-inspired party to the last detail.

Picnic in the park party ideas:

  • Serve canapes inspired by traditional picnic foods
  • Create seated areas with luxury picnic blankets and yurts
  • Order gourmet picnic baskets for your guests
  • Hire a venue with plenty of green space

Create your own Coachella

Celebrate summer festivals by hosting a Coachella-inspired celebration. A venue with plenty of outdoor green space would be the perfect place to accommodate you and your guests and you will find plenty of festival-inspired decor ideas. Ascot Racecourse is available for exclusive hire for your summer party and would be the perfect blank canvas to base your festival-inspired summer party. With a variety of catering options, we would suggest keeping things casual with street food style catering and a host of craft beers and cocktails to set the tone of your day.

Festival party ideas:

  • Give bespoke wristbands on entry
  • Create a festival-perfect playlist
  • Hire a glitter makeup stand
  • Have bespoke temporary tattoos made

If you are getting ready to plan your summer party then take a look at our list of the best summer party venues in London and find the perfect destination for your next event.